For the first time in several years the unabashed exuberance that has prevailed at the annual NBAA Convention was replaced by concerns– if not outright fear–that business aviation’s rapid rate of climb is now nosing over into a descent that will likely be felt beginning in 2010 or 2011 and last for at least two years.
In a letter sent to employees last week, Hawker Beechcraft chairman and CEO Jim Schuster warned that the turmoil in the financial markets could have negative effects on the aircraft manufacturer. “While we have enjoyed one of the greatest market expansions in general aviation history, we now face market conditions characterized as wildly uncertain at best,” he wrote.
Hawker Beechcraft Services (HBS) broke ground last Friday on a $14 million expansion of its aircraft maintenance facility at Indianapolis International Airport. The expansion will include a new 6,500-sq-ft terminal and a 40,000-sq-ft maintenance hangar with 20,000 sq ft of back shops and administrative offices.
Marking one of the few large orders announced at NBAA’08, Brazil-based Lider Signatures, a Hawker Beechcraft dealer and authorized service center since 1996, has placed an order with the Wichita OEM for 23 aircraft worth approximately $200 million. Lider CEO Eduardo de Pereira Vaz signed and sealed the contract here yesterday with Brad Hatt, president of commercial sales for Hawker Beech.
ExecuJet Aviation Group, Gama Aviation and Jet Alliance International were among the companies inducted Sunday into the National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA) at the organization’s annual membership meeting. Other new members included Boutsen Aviation, Symbolic Aviation and Tandava Aviation. Hawker Beechcraft Services; Hinckley, Allen & Snyder; Hope Aviation Insurance; and Ober Kaler, Attorneys at Law, joined as associate members.
Aviation Partners has selected StandardAero (Booth No. 899),
The ISIS Group has ordered 10 copies of the Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 400XP light jet, worth more than $70 million with options, to be leased from ISIS by Indian charter operator Aviators India in Bangalore. Half of the order will be delivered next year with the remaining five of the 400XPs due in 2010. Hawker Beechcraft’s sales partner in Delhi, InterGlobe General Aviation, helped Hawker win the order and will maintain the fleet.
High fuel prices are giving operators new motivation to add aftermarket winglets to airplanes without them. Here at NBAA’08, King Air 90 owners have one last opportunity to place pre-certification orders for Winglet Systems from BLR Aerospace (Booth No. 4066), according to Dave Marone, BLR vice president of sales and marketing. Certification is “imminent,” he said.
Hawker Beechcraft took the wraps off the Hawker 450XP and King Air 350i here yesterday. Both aircraft enjoy cabin makeovers for the people in back who pay the bills and, in the case of the revamped Hawker, the pilots up front will get Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics and more modern engines.
Hawker Beechcraft today launched the Hawker 450XP, a derivative of the Hawker 400XP (née Beechjet 400A) with new cockpit avionics and engines.